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Alucard knew Beelzebub was near long before he saw him. The buzzing of hundreds of demonic flies was a hint, the stench of decaying flesh an even bigger one. Not for the first time since entering his father's castle, Alucard cursed his enhanced vampiric senses.

The skeleton in the Floating Garden looked harmless, or at least, as close to it as anything could look in a monster infested castle. Soma made the mistake of thinking it was just some sort of servant busy pulling weeds. Then the root it was pulling up let out a horrid shriek. Soma cried out in pain as the sound penetrated his ears. He rushed to the root and struck it with his sword. His movements were uncoordinated and sloppy. Desperation, rather than any kind of skill, drove him on. That sound was vile. As the Mandragora finally disintegrated, Soma collapsed on the ground, his strength gone. Dammit, he thought. I didn't even get its soul.

Lisa looked in the mirror and stared at the finery Vlad has given her to wear. A black velvet gown with goldwork embroidery of roses around the hem and cuffs, along with a black velvet cape with matching embroidery around the edges. Unlike the red lined one her husband wore, this one was lined with purple silk. Lisa could only imagine how costly that much purple dye would be in the mortal world.

"It's all too much," she groaned as Vlad stood behind her gently brushing her hair. "I'm but a poor girl from a small, rural village. This is all too fine for me."

He hushed her with a gentle nuzzle against her ear. "You are the Night's own Queen, my love," he said. "You should have the best."

Tom was high in the branches of an oak when Shanoa finally found him. She approached slowly, hoping not to startle the poor thing. He looked scared to death already. "Got you," she cried as she grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.

Lord Dracula glared down at the repulsive creature that lay broken and bleeding before his Throne. This was a first. Belmonts had come to pester him from time to time, certainly, but this was the first time a vampire had dared to challenge the King of Darkness. He intended to make sure it was the last.

"Your challenge has failed, Olrox," Dracula said. His tone held not the slightest trace of pity. "Such treachery has only one reward." The vanquished vampire could only scream as his soul was ripped from his body.

No matter how many enemies Soma had to kill, he was always able to console himself by remembering that they were only monsters. All that changed in the Underground Cemetery when he had to fight Legion. He tried to tell himself that the creature's shell was only reanimated corpses. Being dead already, they certainly couldn't feel any pain as he struck Legion with the Creaking Skull soul. The sounds they made didn't let him believe it. A thousand mouths groaned out in agony with every hit.

"Answer me," Alucard demanded. "Why is a Belmont planning the resurrection of Count Dracula?"

"Dracula rises but once a century," Richter answered. "And my role is over. If I can resurrect him, then the battle can last for eternity!"

Alucard gave an involuntary shudder. Even without the Holy Glasses, there could have been no mistaking Richter's slack jaw and expressionless eyes. Neither the man's words, nor his mind, were truly his own anymore.

Those Dryads were annoying. Every time Soma got too close for their liking, they'd throw fruit at his head. Sure, it didn't do too much damage, but he didn't know how much more of a pounding he could take.

The Lizardman had been careful to warn Reinhardt of the consequences of jarring the Magical Nitro. Even so, that last bone pillar caught him by surprise, and he was jumping to avoid the jet of flame before he even thought to stop himself. When he hit the ground, the resulting explosion blew him twenty feet across the room. His last thoughts as his life drained away were that he probably could have withstood the flame and this was truly a stupid way to die.

The plague had raged through the village for a month, and half the villagers were stricken with it. It started with strange swellings on the neck and in the armpits, then stomach pains and nausea, and finally fever and chills. Sufferers were too exhausted to stir from their beds, and those without family to tend to them were forced to lie in a pool of their own waste as they waited to die.

Within the Throne Room, Lord Dracula listened with amusement as Death made his report. "My wife was a healer," he said. "Had they not murdered her, she could have helped them." Truly, the irony was delightful.